When do you think the first Bewick’s will arrive?
It’s that time of year when anticipation starts to build at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, as staff, volunteers and visitors await the arrival of the first Bewick’s swans of the winter.
And this year WWT is giving you the chance to guess the date the first of these majestic swans will touch down at Slimbridge Wetland Centre over the coming weeks in an online competition. The winner, to be drawn at random from those who guess the correct date, will receive a pair of tickets to WWT Slimbridge’s Winter Wildlife Festival in December.
Each year the arrival of Bewick’s swan from their Russian breeding grounds causes much debate because folklore suggests it can predict whether or not we are set to face a cold winter. If they arrive early then it could mean a harsh winter – or even a white Christmas - is in store for us but later touchdowns could indicate a milder few months.
The Bewick’s swan are loyal to their wintering sites so each year we welcome back 300 or so of the birds to Slimbridge, each of which can be identified from their unique bill patterns. Last year we speculated that the arrival of large numbers of Bewick’s swans early on in the season meant we could have snow in store and sure enough we were treated to a generous helping of the white stuff at the start of 2010!
Dave Paynter, Slimbridge’s Reserve Manager, said: “There is a certain element of truth to the assertion that they predict the weather because their migration depends on the weather conditions.
“They need a north easterly wind and clear skies to arrive early, whereas wetter south westerly winds would slow down their arrival. My advice would be to weather watch when you make your guess!
“There are several swans we are particularly excited about welcoming back. If Winterling makes it back she will be the oldest swan on record to have ever visited the reserve at 29 and I still have hopes that Crinkly, the swan with the crooked neck might return even though she failed to make it back here last year.”
WWT Slimbridge’s Winter Wildlife Festival runs from Monday 29 November to Sunday 5 December. Visitors will have the chance to go to the commentated swan feeds as part of the day’s events which include den building, wildlife-themed stalls, talks, demonstrations and guides in the hides.
To be in with a chance of winning you simply need to guess a date from 15 October to November 5. You can enter the competition online at www.wwt.org.uk/swancomp2010 or submit your entry by post, detailing your name, address, email address and phone number to Swan Competition 2010, Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Slimbridge, Glos GL2 7BT. Once the swans arrive the draw for the prize will be made from the correct entries.
For further information.
7 October 2010
• Canine capers at Westonbirt Arboretum
• Christmas Celebrations Afloat – So popular more dates added!
• NEW OFFER: 10% off at Taurus Crafts - Ideal for Christmas presents!
• Gloucestershire at its Best Photography Competition - Last chance to enter
• The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival crowned Tourism Event of the Year!
• The Tivoli pub in Cheltenham to have new lease of life after closure
• £15 Menu at The Wharf House - Last chance!
• Tourism Award for Treasure Trails
• SPECIAL CHRISTMAS IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE SECTION - now live!!!
• “Twist & Pulse to Switch on Gloucester Quays Christmas Lights This Thursday!”
• NEW OFFER: Free weeks pass at Barcelo Health & Leisure Club in Cheltenham
• Co-Opera Co. bring two of the most popular operas to the Everyman next week
• Gloucester's Zombie Thriller Video at Café René
• Follow Explore Gloucestershire on Twitter
• REVIEW: The Haunting at The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham
• Swan Lake – For 3 Nights Only!
• Green Father Christmas to launch Westonbirt's Festive Fun
• Conservators protect mosaics from builders at Chedworth Roman Villa
• SPECIAL OFFER! 33% OFF Business Promotion with Explore Gloucestershire iPhone APP & Website!
• STOP PRESS: The First iPhone APP for Gloucestershire!
• Double value parking at two major town centre car parks throughout December
• Tickets on sale now for Winter Wildlife Festival talks
• Explosive Entertainment at The Everyman Theatre: REVIEW
• Continental market returns to Cheltenham
• Half Term & Halloween in Gloucestershire
• Birthday Celebrations with tea and cake at Gloucester Folk Museum
• The All Your Life Celebrity Charity Ball ‘Party Only’ Tickets now available for £25
• NEW OFFER! FREE Makeover and Photoshoot with ALL YOUR LIFE
• Congratulations to The Wharf House Restaurant
• NEW OFFER! 4 Fabulous money saving vouchers at Café René in Gloucester
• Calypso Comes to Cheltenham!
• When do you think the first Bewick’s will arrive?
• 10% Off and Park for Free 6pm-8pm at Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet
• Winter Owl Evenings return to The International Centre for Birds of Prey Centre at Newent
• A message from Cafe Rene: "Calling all Zombies!!"